B.C. privacy watchdog launches charter challenge of election advertising law | iNFOnews

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B.C. privacy watchdog launches charter challenge of election advertising law

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January 30, 2013 - 9:56 AM

VANCOUVER - A privacy watchdog group in B.C. says it has accepted the challenge after provincial officials dared it to fight a section of the B.C. Election Act in court.

Vincent Gogolek, Executive Director of the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, says a notice of civil claim has been filed as the group launches a charter challenge.

Gogolek says section 228 of the Election Act is too broad and could apply equally to a deep-pocketed campaign donor or someone who posts a handwritten sign in the window of their home.

The section requires individuals and groups to register with Elections BC before doing any advertising on behalf of a candidate or party — even if that advertising doesn't cost a cent.

Gogolek says B.C.'s Chief Electoral Officer previously highlighted the problem in his 2010 report, and the Court of Appeal repeated those concerns last year, but the government insists the law is valid and has told challengers to turn to the courts for an answer.

Gogolek says the matter is a serious constitutional issue and he warns the province to act before ordered by a judge.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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